What if I Don't Get Any More Tomorrows?
"How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog — it's here a little while, then it's gone." James 4:14 (NLT)
Before the plane backed away from the gate, the flight attendant warned us: "It's been a rough day in the air. Prepare yourself for tremendous turbulence." Although I wanted to make a mad dash for the door, I simply tightened my seat belt and prayed for safety. Soon, her verbal warning became a reality.
The plane rocked back and forth, as if it were slamming into walls instead of fluffy clouds. It was a short, but difficult, flight and after several attempts at landing, we were diverted to another airport, adding hours to the trip.
During this extra time in the air, I did a lot of thinking about what was most important in my life. I didn't really believe we would crash, but I couldn't keep from wondering... What if the worst happens? What if I don't get any more tomorrows?
I thought about my loved ones. What were my last words to them? Were they kind or harsh? Were they filled with love, or merely instructions to carry out during my absence? Did I hug everyone and tell them how much they meant to me? If I didn't make it home, had I prepared my children spiritually and emotionally to handle life, trust God and walk in faith? Had I told my husband how much I appreciated him?
Was there anyone I needed to forgive? Were there people I had been meaning to call or visit but never took the time? Had my priorities and plans been in line with God's will? Had I sought God's insight about everything on my to-do list? Had I done all I could to bring glory to God? Would I be ready to meet Jesus face to face?
Although my heart knew God was in control, my mind and emotions ran wild as I peered out the oval window at the dark clouds hovering all around us.
In an effort to ignore the panicked voice over the intercom, I began searching my Bible for scriptures about how God knows the number of our days. The first verse I found was today's key verse.
In the rest of chapter 4, James reprimands the people for their self-centered living. Their self-indulgent, judgmental and prideful ways caused arguments and quarrels. They were consumed with business profits and neglected to seek God's insight.
They focused on their personal agendas instead of what actually mattered. They acted as if God didn't exist, or didn't matter, and pursued their own plans. They disregarded God's control over their lives and the number of their days.
James then wrote these words that spoke truth into my heart, "How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog — it's here a little while, then it's gone" (James 4:14).
That passage could have been written to me. Sometimes I focus on my own plans, ignoring that only God knows how long He will allow me to carry them out. Other times, I make plans without seeking God's will and get distracted by lesser things, instead of what really matters.
James wanted his readers to remember God directs us to live with a holy perspective, knowing every breath we take is one more gift from God. We aren't promised any tomorrows, so we need to live today with an eternal perspective.
I remained calm in the midst of the airborne chaos, but that time of reflection in the bumpy skies served as a great reminder not to take time for granted. I don't want to assume I'll always have another tomorrow, or another chance to love on those I love the most. From now on, I want to include God in my plans and serve Him as best I can.
Lord, forgive me for focusing on my own plans or neglecting to seek Your insight. Help me to never put off until tomorrow what You want me to do today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond:
What might I need to do today that I've been putting off until tomorrow?
Have I sought God's insight about my future plans, or wise counsel from a trusted friend?
Psalm 90:12, "Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." (NIV)